Chapter I: Careless Preparation
To be brutally and violently honest, I wasn't planning on going
to Anime Central this year. It wasn't within walking distance
like it was years before, and I had a weekend job that didn't
take kindly to me asking for days off last year (they still made
But, thanks to the whining and begging of my people, I was able
to "make it work" (I planned my previously-scheduled
quitting around the con) for great justice.
....and actually, I totally forgot about the convention until
the day before. I didn't prepare one bit. On the opening Friday,
I spent an hour after work piling everything into a backpack
that was totally essential.
Excel Saga vol. 3-4
End of Evangelion
FLCL vol. 1-2
Saber Marionette J vol. 1
Nadesico: The Complete Chronicles
Don Sumerfeld's 'Rejected'
Kodomo no Omocha ep. 1-6
Di Gi Charat ep.1-16 (complete)
Dance Dance Revolution Konamix
Two dance pads
tBook II (12" PowerBook G4)
Ethernet cable (in case a live port was found)
Enough money to exist with minimal purchases.
Let me make one thing clear right now...
Cosplayers scare me and I hope to never be one of them.
Granted, the Poképimp was hilarious, and recognizing characters
you know can be fun, but some people have no shame.
Chapter II: This Time It's Personal
With hasteful direction-grabbing from Yahoo!Maps, I make my way
through rush hour to within a mile of O'Hare airport at a sluggish
pace with no air conditioning to calm my road rage. I reach the
general area of the convention center and realize that I have
no idea where to park.
I'm meeting my friends somewhere in the hotel that the convention's
taking place at. Damned if I know where that is...
I find a parking garage up the road. $11 for one day.
Three levels up, I find a wonderful space. I park unevenly. I
make my way out of the concrete fortress into cell range while
carrying my supplies.
Chapter III: Close Quarters
I take out someone's cell phone and call Riske. You might
remember Riske from other Rants such as...um...the other Acen
rant. The call went something like this...
Dude! Are you at the place?
Yes. I am at place.
Cool. We're over here.
Here. By the people.
I see people, but I see no you people.
Wait. I can see you. Don't move.
I find my group of people. In line. Waiting to register. Because
they're stupid and didn't pre-register.
Riske and Other Guy who were smart already had their pre-reg
tags and could roam freely about the hotel. They supplied the
other four of us with water and hamcubes for the 3 hour wait
It's spent talking about the cosplayers and awaiting more ham
cubes from the smart people.
After being ridiculed by the pre-regs and fighting over benches
along the way, the registration booth thingy was mine. I gave
the con person $45 and got my wonderful sharp-edged con badge.
A license to wander freely. I took that opportunity by running
straight to the bathroom.
IV: "I call the floor!"
The hotel room was rather standard. TV with hotel-specific channels,
defective AC controls, and an impossibly clean bathroom.
Riske and Other Guy had already set up the PS2 to act as the
DVD and game playing device for the weekend. We all celebrated
by busting some grooves.
Dance Dance Revolution is the greatest scheme thought up by the
US Army. It conditions fat gamers and otakus to lose weight and
become strong enough to live through Basic Training so they can
defeat the communist armies.
I coached and laughed at two newcomers to the game with no rhythm
whatsoever. Their hasteful make-up-for-that-note-I'm-almost-about-to-miss
steps threw off their game.
I schooled them all with my monster grooves on End of the Century.
All were amazed at my lightning fast feet.
Sooner or later, my students became more and more funky and started
learning the phat beats to the game's satisfaction. Levels were
I was pleased.
Chapter V: This road is bumpy and it's ahrd to type...
After a few dozen games of DDR and a screening of Happy Tree
Friends by Other Guy (I hate Happy Tree Friends...), we all realized
that there was an anime convention going on and made our way
to the convention area.
Chapter VI: I don't like emacs either.
For all of you who've never been to Anime Central before,
every Friday night they have something called Anime Hell. It's
where they show almost no anime.
...but that's not the hell part.
They show old US propaganda stuff, parodies of old films, horribly
bad live action Japanese stuff from the 50s and basically anything
that is stupid/stupidly hilarious. We saw God (a winged He-Man-type
action figure with an eyeball for a head) fight a robot bunny.
We saw more Heino than I ever want to see again. We saw the little-known
animated Titanic movie. We also saw the classic Monkey vs. Robot.
Two of the three projectors tried to kill themselves instead
of showing the horrid images we endured.
After Hell was Midnight Madness which showed fandubs.
It kicked off with Studio Sokodei's ReDeath as always, then went
forward with Fanboy Bebop. After those was some freaky fake Scottish
fandub and by that time, we had enough. It was time to escape.
Part VII: Wait a second...I thought these were Chapters!
Around 1am, I started thinking about what I had to eat that day.
1 Ham Cube
200mL Sierra Mist
300mL Mountain Dew
2 Potato Chips
Needless to say, I was hit with the crave, and found it hard
to behave. A trip to White Castle was in order.
A sack of 10 "hamburgers" was purchased and eaten by
Riske and I. no more crave.
We got back to the hotel at 3am and found everybody else asleep
instead of playing DDR.
6 people in the room and only two beds, isn't exactly a winning
combination. I got to sleep on the floor...or at least try to.
Hotel carpets aren't known for their comfyness.
After a few hours of caffeine and hard surface-induced insomnia,
I became one with the room. I found that my laptop's pulsing
sleep light pulses ever-so-slightly faster than Other Other Guy's
laptop. I could determine the consciousness status of all the
other people in the room based on breathing patterns alone. I
learned to respect the healing powers of sleep.
Chapter VIII: Backwards Engrish
I spent 5am until 7am gently peeling away the ADV sticker
advertisement that was covering what I assumed to be a printed
but unpaid Suncoast ad. I failed.
The masses started waking up and some of us went to the con suite
to eat the free food.
300mL Mountain Dew
5 glazed donut holes
4" diameter Orange
3 small carrots
After "breakfast", I watched some episodes of Hellsing.
I liked the "Next Episode" teasers.
Back to the hotel room.
More DDR. The newbies were getting gooder. I challenged them
and still won.
Soon after, it was decided that we visit our friendly neighborhood
Chapter IX: There's no escape from the Dance Dance.
Mitsuwa Marketplace is basically
Japan, only 100,000 square feet large. The only difference is
that you pay for everything in US Dollars.
We stocked up on Pocky and Ramune drinks then had some lunch
at their uncommonly large food court. After that, I came up with
the idea for the Otako - common Japanese foods in a taco (see
left). Someday, this will be the greatest food ever.
On our way out, I remembered they had a genuine arcade DDR machine.
We couldn't leave until that was thoroughly played.
The dynamics of an arcade "pad" vary greatly from the
flimsy PSX pads. You can throw your weight differently and hit
the pads at times with less movement. End of the Century was
tested. I was great and awesome. Sugoi, you could say.
It was time for the TDA Panel.
Chapter X: Unknowingly Loyal Subjects.
We made it back to the con and prepared for the TDA Panel.
It happened to take place in the main lobby. There were hundreds
of people there, to my surprise. Many of the questions I got
were along the line of "what the hell are you doing?"
or "who are you?". It made me proud to be free advertising
for Cartoon Network and their ilk.
My job was done. It was time to go home.
Unfortunately, our adventure at Mitsuwa made me miss the Megatokyo
panel and the Music Video contest. In fact, more time was spent
outside the hotel than in. I'm a fool.
I slept in all Sunday morning and tried to resume a normal life
...at least, for 16 hours.